Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Second-half showing delights Allardyce

Sam Allardyce was impressed by West Ham's second-half turnaround

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce praised his side for recovering from a poor first-half performance to secure a "brilliant" 4-1 victory against fellow Premier League new boys Southampton.

After a dour opening 45 minutes that Saints dominated, it took less than a minute of the second half for Mark Noble to break the deadlock. Kevin Nolan doubled the Hammers' advantage moments later and although Adam Lallana halved the deficit, Noble's penalty and a superb strike by substitute Modibo Maiga sealed an emphatic victory for the hosts.

"It was a surprise we won 4-1 when you look at what we did in the first half," Allardyce said after the match. "The good thing for us is the professionalism of players that took a little bit of criticism at half-time for what was a bit of a lacklustre performance."

He added: "The only good thing we did was not to allow Southampton any real chances in the first half.

"We were just not playing well enough and, if we were to overcome them, we had to play better than that and we had to do that by upping the tempo and showing the sort of desire we showed against Arsenal, Fulham, Sunderland and Aston Villa this year.

"Of course, doing that in the second half and giving that sort of performance and scoring the goals - obviously the timing was brilliant because we went out, got right at them and scored two very quick ones - gave us a fantastic 4-1 victory.

"We can forget the first half now and just enjoy the victory and really focus on the positives of how we turned the game around when we looked like we were struggling. In fact, we didn't look like we were struggling, we were. To come out and put it right, not just in terms of winning the game but winning the game comfortably is great."

Thes result means Southampton have now conceded 24 goals in just eight matches back in the Premier League.

Asked how long he thinks he will have to turn things around, the Saints manager said: "Honest answer? I don't know. That is football, I am being brutally honest with you.

"There is a vision at the football club to play a certain brand of football by passing the ball. There needs to be stability at any football club, which is important. But I am not naive as it's football and football is a results-driven industry."

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